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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Analysis of Martha Stewart's Future

Aired March 4, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does it feel to be home, Martha?

MARTHA STEWART: It feels great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Martha Stewart out of prison after five months, now under house arrest at her 153-acre estate in Bedford, New York. We've got the latest, with an exclusive -- Martha's close friend for 20 years, Steve Gerard. He visited her four times in prison. And Martha phoned his wife just as she was leaving prison last night.

Then CNN's Mary Snow, live on the scene near Martha's multi- million-dollar home in Bedford; Susan McDougal, the Whitewater convict who did time in prison; Court TV's Jean Casarez; Jean Chatzky, editor- at-large for "Money" magazine, and author of the best-seller "Pay It Down"; and Henry Blodget of "Slate" magazine, who's covered Martha's trial start to finish -- all next on Larry KING LIVE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We start with Steve Gerard, Martha Stewart's close friend for over 20 years. He's chairman and CEO of Century Business Services.

How did that friendship start, Steve?

STEVE GERARD, MARTHA'S CLOSE FRIEND: Martha and my wife, Jane (ph), became friends and business associates. And our friendship grew from that. We live near each other in Connecticut. We have similar interests. And it's been a wonderful relationship for the past 20 years.

KING: Did you or your wife ever attend the trial?

GERARD: My wife Jane attended on a number of days. And I attended on a couple days. Yes.

KING: What was the phone call like last night?

GERARD: Oh, it was great phone call. Martha called as she was rolling out of the gates. And it was a conversation about how much she's looking forward to getting back to her family and her friends and her animals and the company that she loves and plans she has for the future. And it was the kind of girlfriend-to-girlfriend conversation you would expect in that kind of situation.

KING: When will you see her, Steve?

GERARD: I hope I'll see her on Sunday.

KING: Now, you went to the -- you visited the prison, right, four times. What was that like?

GERARD: Well, it isn't a place that you and I would like to spend a lot of time, Larry. But the fact is that she spent her time with dignity and with grace. And she had a plan going down. She knew she was going to be positive and make the best out of the situation that she could. And I think she did that.

You know, in many ways, she wrote the book on how to survive a prison sentence, and she did it in her own style. She befriended the inmates. She befriended the families of the inmates on visiting day. And I think, to the extent the system allowed her, she went out of her way to help the other people that were there.

KING: I've known her many, many years, as well. Would you say, Steve, her attitude and the way she handled it was not a surprise?

GERARD: Well, it wasn't a surprise to those of us that know her. If you look at what it took to get to where she is, she's very focused. She knows how to deal with most situations. She is very positive in her attitude about life. And this was just another challenge. And she handled it with the same kind of focus and effort and verve that she's done everything else in her life.

KING: How about the public's reaction? She may be the most popular convicted felon of recent memory.

GERARD: I think the American public likes a comeback story. I think, more important, though, they recognize what she's accomplished. She started with nothing. She built an empire, a media empire in television and in print. And she produced and created and distributed quality products. And she brought a degree of comfort and excitement to everyone's life.

And I think as they look back, they appreciate the contribution she's made to their own life. I mean, she makes holidays special. She lets the -- she lets individuals try new things. She shares her knowledge. And I think, as people look back over the last five months -- and actually, the last couple years, really -- that's what they're reacting to. They're reacting to the positive products.

KING: Yes. Well, she was very popular in prison, too, was she not?

GERARD: She was very popular in prison. She went out of her way to help people. You may have noticed last night on the pictures of her getting on the plane, she was wearing a cape. That was actually made by one of the inmates and given to her. And the night before she left, they had a -- they said good-bye to her with song in the chapel. She tried to help in many, many ways. She offered to cook Christmas dinner and bake pies. And while they didn't let her do that, to the extent she was able to help her fellow inmates, I know she went out of her way to do that. She showed a great deal of compassion while she was there.

KING: What do you gather she's learned? Well, I guess you'll know more after Sunday. But it had to change her somewhat.

GERARD: Well, I think -- I think we'll all see what she's learned over time. Martha's known to be a great teacher, and that's where her -- that's how she made her mark.

But the fact is that she's the consummate student. She studies everything. She learns everything. She pays attention to everything. So I don't have any doubt that the last five months has taught her a number of things. And I think we'll see it in her products. And we'll see it in her activities. We'll see it in her charitable work. And we'll see it in efforts as she goes forward.

She is very, very focused now about putting this past five months behind her, getting back to working to develop products for her company, working to develop new styles and new ideas. And I think that's really where her energy's going to be focused going forward.

KING: As a businessman yourself, would you bet on continued business success?

GERARD: Oh, I'm going to bet very heavily on Martha. You know, five months is a little bit frustrating because someone else controls your daily life. But five months gives you a great deal of time to contemplate. And I don't have any doubt that she spent the last five months making long lists of everything she wants to do in terms of new products and new initiatives and new ideas and new concepts. And I'm sure she's going to come back and hit the ground running.

KING: We'll take a break and come back and spend a few more moments with Steve Gerard. And then our panel will assemble. We'll also be including your phone calls. Steve will be back. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTHA STEWART: I will tell you this. My favorite thing is lemons. And people make jokes about making lemons into lemonade, but I actually really like lemons. And these are my first lemons in five months. And I'm really looking forward to having some hot lemonade when I get back in the house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Steve Gerard, one of Martha's close friends. He is the chairman and CEO of Century Business Services.

Does your company do business with Martha? GERARD: No, Larry. Unfortunately, we do not.

KING: Unfortunately, did you say?

GERARD: That's right. I'll have to talk to her about that.

KING: What do you make of this "Apprentice" idea?

GERARD: Well, I'm excited about the daily television show, where Martha gets back to instructing and teaching and bringing some beauty to everyone's life and -- that show I'm really excited about. I'm going to -- the way -- "The Apprentice" idea, I'll look at it, just like everyone else will. And we'll see how it comes out. I do know Martha well enough to know that whatever show she's on, it'll be her show. It'll be her imprint. It won't be anybody else's. And if she -- if she -- if the show shows that side of her, the creative side of her, I think it'll be a hit.

KING: You're saying, in other words, it won't be Donald Trump's "Apprentice," it'll be Martha Stewart's?

GERARD: I certainly hope it will be Martha Stewart's "Apprentice."

KING: I don't imagine they'll have her say "You're fired."

GERARD: No. I think she's going to put her own imprint on this. I think she's going to find creative projects. And while I'm not privy to the outline of the show, I know her well enough to know that her focus is on the future of her company, the development of product, and reinforcing the brand name. And I'm sure the show will reinforce those ideas.

KING: Is the daily show definitely coming back?

GERARD: Again, I'm not privy to the details. Everything I read tells me that it's on the drawing boards, and everybody seems to be very excited about it, and I know she's excited about it.

KING: Is there a danger, do you think, Steve, of sometimes the reverse here, with so much -- all this attention, which has been very pro-Martha -- you know, there's not many media attacking her. They're handling her well. They're treating her with dignity. She's enjoying it. They're enjoying her.

Is there a chance of a reverse spin of enough already?

GERARD: Well, I'll leave that to you and the other media experts. I think anything that can reinforce her position in the marketplace I think will be positive for her. I think the proof will be in the new products and the new shows. And I don't think anybody at this point, is particularly worried about a backlash. I think everybody now is -- with Martha -- is focused on the future and what the next steps are.

KING: What was the impact of all this on you and your wife, Steve? GERARD: Well, the impact on my wife Jane, and I -- and actually all of Martha Stewart's friends, and her family -- was very -- was serious. I mean, here's someone who we had regular contact with and we spoke with. And you lost that contact and you lost that interaction.

Now, we did have an opportunity to talk to her frequently on the phone. And we did visit her a number -- I visited her four times, my wife six times. But it's still not the same. So I think the real impact has been on her family, it's been on her close friends, and it's been on the company. I think she's been as much worried about the company that she built and the people she cares so much about as she's been worried about anything.

So I think everybody in her world has been impacted. But now everybody's looking and saying, OK, those five months are behind us. Now what is the future bringing? And I think everybody connected with Martha is very excited about the future.

KING: Were there any moments, Steve, when she was down or depressed when you talked to her or visited her?

GERARD: I never saw or heard from her that she was down or depressed. Every time I talked to her, she was positive. She was trying to find the best in each day and then capitalize on it. She certainly had concerns for others. She's made her concerns about the food known and about some of the health conditions known. But that was more a compassionate view for her fellow inmates than it was for her. I think she did all of the tasks they assigned her in a bright, aggressive, positive way. And I never saw any -- I never saw her being upset or any great despair in her voice.

KING: From your observation of the prison, was "Camp Cupcake" a misnomer?

GERARD: Any time you are locked up every night and someone's telling you what to do every day, and your timetable belongs to somebody else, it's not a cakewalk. And "Camp Cupcake" is just unfair. And it's unfair to the people that are there, quite frankly.

Now, I found the guards and I found staff to be very cooperative and very professional, and everybody treated everybody very nicely. But this is still prison, and making light of it is just unfair.

KING: Loss of freedom ain't fun.

GERARD: It certainly is not, and not for someone as dynamic and as aggressive and as global in her activities and her thinking as Martha.

KING: Do you think she might be vindicated eventually by appeal?

GERARD: Oh, I'll leave that to the lawyers and to the others. I think most of us who are her friends and the people in her company are really focused on the next steps for her company. I'm not going to comment on the appeal.

KING: Thanks very much, Steve. Thanks for spending the time with us.

GERARD: My pleasure.

KING: Give her our best.

GERARD: I certainly will.

KING: Steve Gerard, Martha Stewart's close friend, he and his wife, for over 20 years.

We'll be back, meet our panel and get right into it. Your phone calls will be taken, as well. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: This is a funny story. We asked the guards every day for a cappuccino -- you know, just as a joke. And they'd come in with their cups of coffee and stuff. And so I get here. And I have a spot for a cappuccino machine, and it didn't work. So I don't have any cappuccino.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She doesn't have any cappuccino. She doesn't have any cappuccino. The cappuccino machine does not work.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I didn't miss the cappuccino at all. It's the idea I missed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: CNN reporter Mary Snow is in Bedford, New York. Mary, what happened today?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, you know, the minute that Martha Stewart got on the plane, as you saw, she was smiling -- a very public exit. And then this morning, she came out, and you could see her. She was petting her animals, walking with her dogs. And she approached reporters and photographers a number of times, really embracing the spotlight and stepping into it.

She went back to playing the role she's played so well as host. And she asked reporters and photographers if they wanted coffee and donuts. She even sent out some hot chocolate at one point. And she seemed very relaxed, walking around the grounds.

And there was this one moment that, really, I thought summed up the day, where Martha Stewart came out of her greenhouse with lemons. And she walked over to everybody who's camped out, taking pictures of her, and she said, you know, I really like lemons. People have been joking about making lemonade about -- with lemons. But I'm going to have my first lemons in five months.

But it kind of typifies the resilience and this day that she really took and embraced and made her own.

KING: How long does the press stay there?

SNOW: That's a good question. I mean, we saw -- there were a number of reporters out here throughout the day, and the numbers started dwindling as it got darker. And you could see, you know, her shades were pulled down at one point in the day, and she did not come out again.

Who knows? I mean, you saw those photographers waiting outside of Alderson prison while she was there, snapping shots. I mean, this is a woman that has gained so much attention, how do you really put a timetable on it, you know?

KING: Susan McDougal, I guess we're safe to say nobody ever left prison quite like this. Are you a little envious, as someone who left prison differently?

SUSAN MCDOUGAL, SERVED 21 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR WHITEWATER-RELATED CONVICTION: Oh, no. I had a great day when I left prison. Everybody has a great day when they leave prison. It's the best day of your life. And I couldn't -- I don't think anyone is envious of her. I'm happy for her. Everyone I talked to on the street today -- because I was on your show last night -- said go on tonight and tell her how proud we are that she didn't break her, that they didn't break her. And I think that's the sentiment of everyone on the street.

There was a big party last night over in North Little Rock. They invited me to come. And they said they're going to celebrate every year Martha's, you know, getting out of prison because it's a great thing to see a strong woman stand up and not be broken by this. I'm not envious at all. Very happy for her.

KING: How long were you incarcerated, Susan?

MCDOUGAL: Almost two years -- 22 months.

KING: A lot more than five months.

MCDOUGAL: Yes.

KING: It leaves a mark if it's two days, right?

MCDOUGAL: I think it does. I've talked to people who got arrested, you know, overnight. And they said that, you know, it's a very frightening thing to be at someone else's control. And you never know who that person will be. And they have all sorts of things they do to you and that can happen to you. And in most cases, they - it doesn't, but it can. And that's a great fear.

And if you talk to lawyers, they'll tell you people will offer up their children, their spouses, anybody, to keep from going to jail. It's the most frightening thing that most people ever look at. And I've seen deals made that would -- that you would never believe someone would do. I've known people all my life in Whitewater who made deals that were unbelievable, just so they wouldn't go through what Martha Stewart went through. And she's a very brave person for offering herself up to it.

KING: Jean Casarez of Court TV, is this a kind of legal phenomena?

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Oh, I think it is because she's beginning her home confinement portion of her sentence now, but yet we saw her around on the grounds and talking with reporters, giving hot chocolate. Well, I can confirm to you that she is not violating the home confinement. I spoke with the probation office today, and they said that there is a type of a grace period because she is yet to be fitted with that monitoring bracelet. She has 72 hours. So they're allowing her to do this. But once fitted with that bracelet by the end of this weekend, she cannot leave her home to visit the horses, et cetera, except for the 48 hours per week for those business purposes.

KING: So in other words, after that, she couldn't do what she did today, go out and talk to the people standing around?

CASAREZ: Not unless it's directly related to a business purpose. That's how it's worded.

KING: Does she sleep with that bracelet?

CASAREZ: Yes. Yes. She will have it on for the next five months.

KING: Jean Chatzky, as the author of, "Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day," would you bet that Martha Stewart's business progress will inflate?

JEAN CHATZKY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "MONEY" MAGAZINE: I think that Martha Stewart, as a businesswoman, is a very good bet. Whether her stock price will continue to inflate I think is a completely different question. The stock is now trading about 30, 31. That is about three or four times what most independent analysts believe the stock is worth, based on the business as it stands today. So we'll have to watch the progress of her new television show, her new reality show, the products that she is sure to announce to the merged K-mart and Sears, and see how things go.

KING: Henry Blodget, should she focus at all on prison issues? Should she talk about that? Or should she -- this is from a business and PR standpoint -- put that away?

HENRY BLODGET, "SLATE" MAGAZINE: I think she should. I think she certainly gained a lot of respect and sympathy by her -- by actually focusing on it when she was there and talking about the real plight of people she met. She's in an extraordinary position now to help a lot of people who most people just don't care about or think about. So I think she can do a lot with that. And I think that would show people that she's very serious about what she said and this wasn't an act, and so forth. So I think she definitely should.

KING: What do you make about how she's handled this 24 hours -- not 24 hours yet -- Henry?

BLODGET: I think it's great. I mean, I think that what we're all seeing is pure elation in her. And as Susan was saying earlier, it's probably the best day of her life -- in a way, a rebirth. And it's just great to see that. And I think that what people have really seen in Martha through this whole period was, when she finally stepped up and said, OK, I'm not going to say that I'm innocent anymore, I'm just going to take responsibility and I'm going to go serve the sentence, that's where I really think she turned the image around, she took responsibility, and so forth. So this is a continuation of that.

And I think, as you said earlier, it's actually been surprising to me to see how few detractors she has in the media. Everyone does seem to be really enjoying the comeback.

KING: Now, Mary, do you stay there all week? Do you cover her all weekend? Does she get privacy? Does she not? What happens?

SNOW: Well, I think now the shift is going to focus on her business. Eventually, you know, she's going to be back to work. And knowing Martha Stewart, that's going to happen pretty soon. And I think that's where the focus now will go, and what happens at her company, and of course those TV shows -- that everyone's going to be wanting to see how popular they are.

KING: Susan, do you think about prison a lot when you're out of it?

MCDOUGAL: I hope she will. You know, I think it will be a mark of her character. And I think it's more important than PR or her business or anything, the person she is going to become. And I think the person she was is the reason that all this happened to her, and she has a chance to really be something wonderful now.

I think with the five months that we've seen -- what we've seen of her and what we've heard is that she has become more sensitive and more caring. And I'm going to be really interested -- and I think the world will be -- to see if she does show us the better person that she can be.

And one of those ways of doing that will be thinking about prison, and the women that she met in there, and their stories and their hopes and desires for life, and the chances they never had, that even though she did work her way to where she is, she did have chances that those women never in their lives hope to have.

KING: Jean Casarez, would you agree with that?

CASAREZ: I would. You know, one interesting thing, though, another legal aspect to this, with her home confinement and then supervised probation for the next two years, she cannot associate with anyone that has a criminal record, including misdemeanors. So last night, we were talking about that maybe she'll bring some of the women on her show if they get out and associate with them. Legally, she can't. But I also found out that where there's a will, there's a way, that there's a possibility that that can be compromised, if it is directly related to that work purpose.

KING: So Jean Chatzky, as we said last night, this can almost turn out to be a where did we go right?

CHATZKY: Absolutely. I think that people all across the country and people who are watching the markets and Martha's businesses are much more open-minded toward her than they were five months ago. They see her coming out with a fresh start, whereas the CEOs of Enron and Worldcom and Tyco haven't even begun to do their time, in the eyes of America. And I think that people are going to continue to look to Martha for a real sign of where America should be going and what they can do to improve themselves, which gives these television shows that she's embarking on a really good chance of success.

KING: We'll take a break, come back, reintroduce the panel and go to your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't forgot, Kirstie Alley will be with us on Monday night. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are the animals?

STEWART: They're great. Did you see how pretty the horses were?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they miss you?

STEWART: Yes, they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you miss them?

STEWART: He missed me a lot, Bobo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Let's meet our group and then go to your calls. In Bedford, New York is Mary Snow of CNN. In Little Rock is Susan McDougal, who authored the best selling memoir, "The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk." In New York is Jean Casarez of Court TV. Also in New York is Jean Chatzky, best-selling author of -- the latest book is "Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day." She's editor-at-large of "Money" magazine. And Henry Blodget in New York, contributor to "Slate" magazine. He covered the Martha Stewart case from trial to sentencing.

And we'll go to Ocean Side, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Now that she's on house arrest, is she allowed to roam her 153-acre estate?

KING: Jean?

CASAREZ: No, she's not. Home confinement means just that, home confinement.

Now, where she could get around it is directly related to a business purpose, because she can go out of the house 48 hours a week. So if some of that is along the grounds for that business purpose, it could be worked out. But the probation department has to get that schedule well in advance. And they have to authorize it, yeah or nay. And it's very subjective what they will say to her.

KING: But what in her case, Jean Casarez, would be a business appointment? Would it be like if she were going for an interview with "The New York Times," would that be a business appointment?

CASAREZ: It's a good question. I think it would be a case by case basis, because a question I had today, what about her attending the Daytime Emmys because her show is up for several awards. Is that directly related to a business purpose? And the answer I got was, well, I guess it could be. We would have to see. So I think it's just on, in fact, a case-by-case basis.

KING: Huntington, West Virginia -- I'm sorry. Someone wanted to add something?

MCDOUGAL: Yeah. The whole time -- I was on probation as well and home confinement, and I was never turned down one time for any requests that I had.

KING: No?

MCDOUGAL: I went into the jails and talked to some of the women, you know. And I wasn't supposed to be fraternizing with other convicted felons, but it was given -- I was given that opportunity to go in and talk to the women in the jails, and I traveled during my home...

KING: Does it depend on the individual probation officer?

MCDOUGAL: It certainly does. It also depends on the crime. It depends on the person that you are, and whether you followed the rules. It's a very personal thing. But I never once was turned down for anything. If she's going out to get, you know, goat milk to make cheese, that could be a business purpose, if her probation officer thinks that that's valid.

KING: Huntington, West Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: I'm calling to see what did Martha miss the most while she was there?

KING: What would you guess? Henry Blodget, what would you guess she missed the most?

BLODGET: Probably everything. But I would think certainly her house -- and she's talked a lot about her animals and her family and her friends -- I would think is certainly what comes to mind immediately.

KING: Did she say anything to that effect today, Mary?

SNOW: Well, in her statement, she certainly said, you know, there's no such thing as home. And certainly, this is a woman who worked so hard and she's made it very clear that she really missed her company. So those were the two things that she's made clear that she really missed. And of course, her family. And her daughter Alexis was by her side so many times, including today, last night, and frequently visited her.

KING: Susan, what did you miss the most?

MCDOUGAL: I would say my family, people who loved me. It's very hard. You rarely touch anyone during that time. You're very isolated. You don't really trust people with your inner feelings. You can't when you're Martha Stewart. And even though you have visitors, you're in a room full of other people. There's no privacy whatsoever. And, of course, you miss your family most. I think she came to value that, from what I understand, during that time away from them. And I think that's a great gift that was given to her.

KING: Elkton, Maryland, hello.

CALLER: Yes. On Martha, in regard to her family, where is her mother now? And how is she doing?

KING: Do we know? Does anyone know? Henry, do you know where her mom is?

BLODGET: No, I don't.

KING: Do you know, Jean Casarez?

CASAREZ: I think I do. I think her mother's in New Jersey and she just turned 90. You know, she's been on her show for years, creating the family recipes. And I'm sure that she missed her mother tremendously. And that was one of her concerns. She didn't want to go all the way to West Virginia because of her mother. She wanted Connecticut, but she didn't get that option. She had to go all the way to West Virginia.

KING: Wouldn't you bet -- the mother was with her on this show -- wouldn't you bet her mother is probably with her in Bedford, or heading for Bedford?

CASAREZ: I definitely think so, yes.

KING: Excuse me. I got a little cold. Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, my question for the panel is, after watching last night Martha Stewart being taken from her -- with a private jet from her, quote, "Camp Cupcake," how realistic would a book be? And could it cause a personal backlash if she writes about her prison experience when more than two million people are incarcerated and they aren't a billionaire coming back to a mansion, which actually her stock quadrupled?

So how realistic could a book be from her?

KING: Jean Chatzky, what do you think?

CHATZKY: I think this is where she has to be a little bit careful. The risk with the book is the same as the risk with the "Apprentice" show -- that people will take a negative view of her again. She seems to have overcome that hurdle. But if she comes on too strong, if she comes on as too aggressive or too privileged, again people may start to look at her in a negative light. And that is something that she certainly doesn't want, having moved so far away from that.

KING: Henry Blodget, what do you think? Henry?

I'll go around to everyone. Henry, what do you think about that?

BLODGET: I think it's great idea for her to write a book, I think not only about the prison experience, but also certainly just about the whole experience of getting investigated, getting involved in this. I know she had said beforehand that this was something that she just felt completely clueless in and she could help people sort of go through this.

But I think if you look at what came out of prison, in terms of just the reports and the letters she sent to "The Wall Street Journal" and so forth, I think the tone she was carrying there was just a very real human tone, saying look, there are people here who we should respect, we should think about, and so forth. So there really wasn't any arrogance in that. And so on.

I think she can pull it off. Obviously, that's a risk. Not too many people get to leave jail and fly home in a jet like that. But certainly, when she was writing from prison, it didn't sound arrogant in the least.

KING: Mary, what do you make of a book idea?

SNOW: Well, you know, one issue that she has been vocal about is sentencing guidelines. And you know, some of the letters that she's written since she has been in prison addressed that issue. And that may be something she continues to write about. Certainly in that statement she released today, she said she hoped to talk more about her experience.

And one other thing to add too, in that statement, she also pointed out that she felt fortunate for the things that she does have in her life. So perhaps she can kind of balance her gratitude for what she had, but also be able to write about the prison experience without coming off as being too privileged or arrogant.

KING: Susan, you wrote a book. Would you recommend she write one?

MCDOUGAL: You know, when I was doing my book tour, the thing that people asked me over and over -- and I think was the most interesting part of my book -- was about the women that I met while I was in jail and in prison. People are really touched by that. They have no idea what those women faced every day of their lives before they even went to jail or prison. Ninety-seven percent of all women in jail are there for non-violent crimes, and most of them were horribly abused before they ever committed their first crime. She has an opportunity to help those women, and to not focus on herself. And I think the world is looking to see if she can do that in a kind way, and in a way that makes people interested in it. And she said that she will. So I think that book is something that can change her and help to let people know what's going on.

I certainly don't think there would be a backlash. People are really, really interested in what goes on in America's jails and prisons. After all, we pay for them, you know.

KING: Jean Casarez, what do you think?

CASAREZ: Oh, I definitely think that a book would be a good idea. I think if it's too controversial, though, that could be a negative thing. But the federal guidelines that she spoke about in December on her Web site, I don't know if the Supreme Court was listening, but in mid-January they deemed them to be unconstitutional, saying that a federal judge can look at them as advisory, but they can definitely -- don't have to go within those guidelines. So if she had some power there, then maybe she should continue that with her efforts.

KING: Jean Chatzky, you know how to sell books. Will her books sell?

CHATZKY: Oh, absolutely. I think people would want to hear what she has to say about life in prison, about a comeback story. People are endlessly interested in Martha Stewart and all that she has to say, particularly now.

KING: Norfolk, Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: Larry, I was wondering if the panel thought that it was realistic that she would continue to have personal relationships with the folks from the prison and their families in years to come?

KING: Henry, do you think she will?

BLODGET: Well, I was very interested to actually hear that there may be some regulation against that. That never occurred to me before. But again, certainly given what she has said about what she intends to do and how important they were to her and so forth, I would certainly think that would continue. And I think, as Susan was saying earlier, I do think a lot of people are going to be interested in that. So if suddenly, it drops off, people might notice that.

And also, I think another point that had been raised is that if the people at Alderson were fairly worried that once she'd left, a lot of the conditions would deteriorate and no one was watching anymore.

So she really is a position to make a huge difference. And my guess is she'll take advantage of that. I hope so.

KING: Mary, she's almost taken it upon herself to do that, hasn't she?

SNOW: Yeah, she really has. And you know, I do think -- I agree with Henry. I do think that she will probably keep in touch with these prisoners. You know, she's mentioned them before. And as your guest earlier said, you know, they made this poncho for her, leaving last night. So it's obvious that she's developed these personal relationships. People will be watching to see if this is kept up.

KING: We'll take a break and back with more calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

By the way, tomorrow night we will repeat the last interview Martha Stewart did before she went to prison. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Martha Stewart is home again. Martha Stewart began five months of house arrest today.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: The homecoming of Martha Stewart, leaving jail just after midnight.

PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: In Connecticut today, the second act begins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Martha Stewart, not exactly home free but home tonight after serving five months in prison. So, what's next for her?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back.

Beverly Hills, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'm very concerned about Martha's probation officer. Who hires them? And will they be able to take a Martha test to make sure they are not prejudiced against her?

KING: Susan?

MCDOUGAL: They're hired, I think by the Bureau of Prisons, I think. And you get the luck of the draw. I don't think -- I think they will give her someone, though, who will be attuned to the media, to public perception. It's not going to be anyone who will make a misstep that will embarrass the Bureau of Prisons or, you know, cast a shadow on their work. It will be a professional and someone who's been at this a long time, knows the ins and outs of every rule.

They are very particular to the media. Because my case was high profile I got someone who knew how to dot every "i", cross every "t", and on his job. But he was also gracious. He was kind to me. And he gave me names of people that he thought I could talk to that would help them. You know, he would meet people along the way at his job. And he would say, you might talk to them and help them out. He was a great probation officer. I could only wish her the same.

KING: Jean Casarez, is it luck of the draw?

CASAREZ: It is luck of the draw. But I think the probation officer will be scrutinized by the entire nation, because if she's out and about too much, you know people will pick up on that. If you never see her at all, somehow that will leak out, too. So I think the person has to be fair.

KING: Are we going to know him, Jean?

CASAREZ: I don't think so. I'll think they'll stay behind a curtain, I definitely do.

KING: But they can come to her house at any time, right?

CASAREZ: At any time in the next two years, to her work -- wherever that may be in New York City -- or to her home, or any home. They can just have spontaneous visits at any time to see what she's up to.

KING: And do they always know where she's at?

CASAREZ: For the next five months they will always know where she's at because of the electronic monitoring bracelet, because if she goes out of bounds the radio frequency will immediately ring in to the probation department. Her officer will find out. But beyond that, she's on supervised probation. So she'll just make periodic visits.

KING: But she doesn't have to tell them, I'm going to this restaurant tomorrow?

CASAREZ: Not after the five months. No.

KING: Moses Lake, Washington, Hello. Hello? Moses Lake, are you there? Good bye.

Lafayette, Louisiana. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Mr. King.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Hi. Would you please inform the public, today I heard so many different stories of what Martha Stewart was found guilty of. Please, they say she did insider trading and all of that, and that she caused everybody else to lose their money. Just inform them exactly on what she was found guilty of and explain to the public -- you know, they're so misinformed and they're mad at her because she's not apologizing. I don't know.

KING: All right. Good question. Henry Blodget, what was she guilty of?

BLODGET: This is a pet peeve of mine, so I'm happy to explain this. She was investigated for insider trading. And in the course of that investigation, in the course of unsworn interviews, that are untranscribed, she answered some questions that the government later said those were dishonest answers. So, she was ultimately prosecuted for making false statements to the government. And that's what she was convicted of.

She was charged for securities fraud but that was dropped. All she was convicted of was making false statements to the government. Again, she was not even convicted of perjury, which is when you've been sworn to tell the truth, but just making false statements.

KING: Is it also true she didn't cost anybody any money?

BLODGET: Certainly, you could make that argument. The insider trading is a different issue. And that is, she has been charged by the SEC in a civil case that she actually committed insider trading. You might be able to argue that cost somebody some money.

But the only harm in making false statements to the government, obviously, it's A, against the law, and B, it certainly hinders investigations which are very important.

KING: And that civil case is pending, right?

BLODGET: Yes.

KING: Vernon, British Columbia. Hello

CALLER: Hello. I think Martha Stewart's greed put her where she was. She spent her time in jail. I don't think she should be able to bank and write books. She was guilty. I don't know what the big story is.

KING: Jean Chatzky, you want to comment on that? Because it seems the public is running 80 percent pro, 20 percent against?

CHATZKY: That's right. I think a lot of people out there have really decided Martha Stewart has done her time. Yes, she was guilty. Yes, she served five months in jail. But now, she's really in the minds of most Americans paid her dues. And it's OK to come back, have a fresh start. Americans love a story of a comeback kid. That's exactly what Martha Stewart looks like right now.

KING: San Antonio, Texas. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My husband served in a federal camp and had the same sentence of five and five. He's educated with an MBA. He's having a hard time getting a job. Do you think that Martha Stewart's case will help for people to look differently at people that served time?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, I do. That is one of the big things that is going to come out of this Martha Stewart mess. I think people will take a second look at people who have been in jail and in prison and say, you know, I'm going to give them a chance, because look at Martha Stewart. She's a good person. She's going to come back out into the world and do good things. It's going to take the stigma off. At least we can pray for that. I mean, I don't know how we can expect people to come out of jail, not be able to get a job because they have a prison record and make it in life and not go right back to jail. And we're really stigmatizing people by making them put their sentences in their employment forms. So, let's just hope that it does have that effect.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with some more moments with this panel tonight on this issue. Martha Stewart is home. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Palos Hills, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I have a question about Martha Stewart's TV program and how soon she'll be back on the air? And also, does she ride those horses? And what's the name of that cute dog?

KING: I don't know the name of the dog. She's not allowed to ride the horses, as I understand it. Henry, do you know when "The Apprentice" is coming?

BLODGET: No. I think it starts filming in relatively short order. But I have heard over six months or a year before it actually appears.

KING: And Mary, you know the name of the dog?

SNOW: Rumor had it that it was something like Paw-Paw (ph), but I can't say with certainty that that's the name of the dog. But I do think that the daily show that she's going to be doing is starting to tape in September, of next fall.

KING: I'm told the dog's name is Bo-Bo (ph).

Why, Jean Casarez, can't she ride a horse?

CASAREZ: Why can't she?

KING: She can't.

CASAREZ: She can't ride a horse?

KING: That's what I read.

CASAREZ: People love horses and they don't -- she just loves nature. She's got her chickens. She's got her horses...

KING: I know. But why won't they let her under the rules ride her horse? They said she can't ride her horse.

CASAREZ: OK, well, if it's not directly related to a business purpose, she couldn't ride a horse. She'd have to shoot it and make it part of the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or cook it.

KING: They shoot horses, don't they?

Topeka, Kansas. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, I have a question for the panel. They keep talking about Martha keeping in touch with the inmates. I thought there was a law that felons can't associate with other felons.

KING: For five months, is that right, Mary?

SNOW: The understanding that I have is that she's not allowed to have visitors at her home who have been convicted of a crime. So I don't think that it's off limits that she keeps in touch with fellow inmates.

KING: Susan, you were allowed to visit prisons, right?

MCDOUGAL: Yes. You have to get approval from your probation or your parole officer, probation officer. And if they think that it's a good cause, or whatever, they'll give you permission. They're awfully understanding. They're human beings. And they just don't want you to get back into trouble. That's their reason for being.

KING: And Henry, one of Martha's keys to success was high visibility. Will that continue?

BLODGET: Certainly based on what we've seen in the last couple of days. Definitely. I mean, the fact that the airport scene last night where the jet came up and sort of posed in front of the cameras for half an hour, and then where she had that wonderful walk to the plane, certainly based on that, I think she will be high visibility.

KING: Also, Jean Chatzky, it would require a change of personality, and that's not going to happen, right? Martha likes the public.

CHATZKY: Absolutely, she likes the public. And you can just see that she can't wait to get back to work. And it looks like, especially with this daily television show, it's already been sold into 80 percent of the markets in the country. So she is going to be out there in a very big way, showing people all the aspects of this new personality that she's acquired.

KING: Jean Casarez, what is the status of the SEC civil suit?

CASAREZ: Well, it's stayed right now, pending criminal action. I do want to say that Peter Bacanovic, his oral arguments for his appeal are March 17th. I understand Martha Stewart's are on that day also.

And once the criminal action is finished, one way or the other, the SEC then can go forward. But do understand they're in settlement talks now, because remember, that's not jail time, that's money. KING: Jean, if she wins the appeal, the five month thing is over and the tied up legs and the bond -- that's over, and the probation is over, right?

CASAREZ: Well, I think she would be -- what she wants is, she wants to be vindicated, because she has already served her time. But she doesn't want that convicted felon status.

KING: But I mean, if it's overturned, she's no longer under the status of being informed by the state?

CASAREZ: I believe the judge would then grant a new trial, so she'd have to go through that avenue.

KING: But she'd be not guilty again until proven guilty? Right?

CASAREZ: Correct. And then she'd have to start from the beginning. Yes.

KING: We thank you all very much for this very informative hour, as we stay on top of this incredible story of a third act in America.

Mary Snow, Susan McDougal, Jean Casarez, Jean Chatzky, and Henry Blodget.

We have some very exciting guests coming up over the weekend and next week, and I'll be back to tell you about them right after these words.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night, we'll repeat our interview, the last interview that Martha Stewart did before she went to jail. On Sunday night, our tribute to the late Sandra Dee. On Monday night, Kirstie Alley will be our special guest, and Tuesday night a major discussion on the number one killer in the United States, heart disease.

There's all kinds of killing. It's also an adjective. And this man, Aaron Brown, is a killer. You know what I mean? In the best sense of the word. The man hosts "NEWSNIGHT," and he takes no prisoners!

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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